The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services yesterday proposed surveying hospitals about their acquisition costs for specified covered outpatient drugs under the 340B drug savings program. In the outpatient prospective payment system final rule for calendar year 2018, CMS finalized a policy to adjust payment for separately payable outpatient drugs acquired by 340B-eligible hospitals from Average Sales Price plus 6% to ASP minus 22.5%. In a lawsuit brought by the AHA, and joined by The Association of American Medical Colleges, America’s Essential Hospitals and three hospital plaintiffs, a federal judge last year ruled that the cut was unlawful, in part because the Department of Health and Human Services had not collected the necessary data to set payment rates based on acquisition costs. CMS has appealed the ruling. “In the event that the ruling is affirmed, CMS believes that it is important to begin obtaining acquisition costs for specified covered outpatient drugs to set payment rates based on cost for 340B-acquired drugs when they are furnished by certain covered entity hospitals,” the CMS notice states. The notice will be published in Monday’s Federal Register with comments accepted for 60 days.

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